In recent weeks, CEP has interviewed individual members and representatives of the new member organisations that joined CEP at the beginning of 2024. In these interviews, the new member organisations or individual members will share information on why they decided to become members, how they would like to contribute to the development of CEP and many more. Enjoy reading!


Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Christian Ghanem and my first encounters with probation work occurred during my studies in Social Work. Through an internship in 2008, I had the opportunity to discover the potentials of this field of Social Work. After completing my studies, I worked as a probation officer in Munich, where I developed a passion for probation work. At that time, questions arose about how to reconcile scientific knowledge and social work practice as well as my professional identity with the realities of probation work in which paternalism and force play a crucial role. I pursued these questions in my PhD studies and they continue to accompany me to this day. Currently, I work as a professor at the Technical University of Nuremberg, focusing on topics related to criminal justice social work and criminology.

Why did you decide to join CEP?

For many years, I have been receiving the CEP newsletter, allowing me to follow the initiatives and achievements from a distance. In 2023, I was invited to give a lecture at the 10th CEP Directors Generals conference on German probation service, desistance, and the development of the Act on Ambulant Reintegration of Offenders. At this inspiring conference, I met wonderful and highly dedicated colleagues from practice and academia from all over Europe. I not only found the content to be very well-founded and beneficial but also appreciated the dynamic exchange across borders. As German probation is relatively closed with limited interaction with other countries, there is a strong need for such international networks like CEP to exchange knowledge and benefit from each other.

How would you like to contribute to the development of CEP, its projects, actions, and work programme, and what are your plans with CEP (Expert Groups that you would like to join or contribute to, topics or themes that you want to pay attention to, e.g., mental health, parole, etc)?

Destigmatizing convicted individuals is important to me, and creating spaces to amplify their voices. This includes advocating for the rights of convicted individuals and criminal justice social work on a political level to create conditions that not only enable desistance but also make human rights tangible in concrete life worlds. With these goals, I am willing to share my experiences and collaborate on projects across borders. Another priority in my life is my family and three lovely children. While my time resources are somewhat limited in this phase of my life, I would be eager to invest the remaining time to promote international dialogue and connect the realms of science and probation practice.

More specifically, I am generally interested in various themes within prison and probation research:

  • Desistance processes of individuals
  • Professionalism in probation
  • Harm reduction strategies for substance users
  • Parenthood and incarceration
  • Elderly inmates
  • Digital technologies in criminal justice

I am currently involved in research projects on some of these topics, and I am willing to contribute research findings to CEP in a suitable way.

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